metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk




  INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOFER JOHNSSON OF THERION

Sonia Waterfield



sonia waterfield

Pin It
Share |

therion

After reviewing Therion's new album. 'Les Fleurs De Mal' (here, I managed to catch up with Christofer Johnsson, the original founder and guitarist for the band. He was very agreeable and happy to give me a deep insight into the depths of Therion.

Initially I quizzed him on the band's beginnings and my total lack of knowledge of the band.

CJ: "You never even heard of a band being around for 25 years selling over a million CD's...?  And you're from England? Do they have electricity and running water in the village you live in? ; D

"I was a 14 year old Metal head buying a bass guitar to jam with some guys. Got fed up with it after three months and decided I wanted to form a real band. I was then 15 and that band is what I still play in today.

"I'm an eccentric intellectual living in my villa deep into the forest where I also have my studio."

Article continues below...

   


Therion are:

Christian Vidal - Guitars: The guitar wizard from Argentina. Well trained in music theory and can play odd sounding six-finger tapping that sounds weird and no one can play. He is also known as 'Closseau' due to him being a disaster in the mundane world.

NallePåhlsson - Bass: The Swedish Bob Daisley. Oldest guy in the band. He will be 50 next year.

Johan Kullberg - Drums: Meat and potatoes type of all-round drummer. He is very convenient to play with. Strong as a bull and a womanizer.

Thomas Vikström - Vocals: Opera tenor and rock singer in one. Born showman and a womanizer.

Lori Lewis - Vocals: Our American soprano. One of a kind classical soprano who has the voice and the true skills from the classical scene, but hasher heart in rock music. Dolly Parton trapped in fit opera diva's body.

  therion

Commenting on the beginnings, history and stages of the band's growth, I asked how the band have changed.

CJ: "We never played doom Metal. We started off as a band called Blitzkrieg playing some sort of noisy Heavy Trash Metal. Then we broke up some months and reformed the band under the name Megatherion, that just some months later was changed to Therion. At that point we played death Metal. With time we added on different types of elements to the music and after a couple of albums the death Metal had been bit by bit washed away. There were never any planning, it just happened that way."

Moving onto genres, I quizzed where he believes the band lies; 'mainstream' or 'underground'?

CJ: "There's something in between those two and this is where both Therion and most other bands not playing arenas are. We're signed to a big independant label and we play big clubs or small halls in Europe. In Latin America we play halls or even small arenas."

After being introduced intimately to the band I moved on to asking Christofer about the disagreements that were noted on the official website concerning 'Les Fleurs De Mal'.

  therion

CJ: "Johan and Nalle didn't quite get it in the beginning. Too weird for them. After all, they've played in a AC/DC sound-alike band (they were great actually!). Why make a cover album out of French girlie pop songs from the late 60s? Yes why...? Give me a reason why not? To me it just seemed the right thing to do and if someone doesn't get my crazy ideas, there's not much I can say to help.

"When the mix started to come together I guess Johan had started to understand what it was all about and in the middle of the tour, Nalle all of a sudden was saying 'I think I got it now, the thing with this French art project...' So in the end everyone's happy and like what we did.

When doing my research for the album review I was surprised to find out that Therion have been classed as one of the main founders of symphonic Metal with their album 'Theli' released in 1996 and his thoughts on this label, which he felt good about.

CJ: "Eeer, no we just made a weird album we expected no one to like, just like our previous four albums. Then all of a sudden we started to sell records and we started to influence a lot of bands."

Therion are celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year. I was intrigued to know how it felt to have reached this major milestone and how the time in this business has affected Christofer, the band and their members and if there was anything he would like to have changed during your career?

CJ: "Feels great.

"I'm the only original member, so I can only talk from my own view. I'm wiser, older and more skilled. Other than that I'm pretty much the same happy chap.

"There are always things. Mistakes you do. But in general I don't regret much. I guess I would have signed up with Nuclear Blast in the first place if I could have done it all again."

Back to 'Les Fleurs Du Mal', the latest release (which in my opinion is fantastic), I wanted to know the influences, how the band found the recording process and why their label did not support the release?

  therion

CJ: "The images reflect the topics of three of the six poems by Baudelaire that got banned. It's a tribute to that.

"They didn't like it and there are complex copyright issues when you make a cover album. They wanted business as usual.

"It was of course a lot of work building up a label of my own in such a short time. But I've gathered quite a bit of know how over the years, so it went smoother than expected. So far the reults have been great, the album seems to be selling better than our previous album. I can't complain.

In respect to other symphonic Metal bands, Therion seem to have mastered the whole arrangement of the Classical/Metal instruments and vocals perfectly without them being being 'pompous' and overbearing, even a pure and folk sound on some tracks. I was very interested to see how he managed this.

CJ: "I started with just using two classical singers on 'Lepaca Kliffoth' back in 95. Then on 'Theli' I extended it to a choir.

"On 'Vovin' (98) I added a small string orchestra and on 'Deggial' (2000) some solo woodwinds and brass. On 'Secret Of The Runes' (2001) I used full orchestra and choir and by then I had learnt everything well enough to master it. I'm self-taught for most of it, the rest I got by reading two books I bought plus asking people.

"I would say it's not hard for me to learn, things that interest me I can learn easy (if I'm uninterested, I'm stupid as a rock to tech things)."  "We just did what was needed to turn them into Therion songs. A general idea was to show how close seemingly different music styles can be. To show that it's a lot in the cosmetics, that these old songs are not as different from the modern music we listen to as one may think."

With Therion completing their 'Les Fleur De Mal' tour during September which was marketed as an art project, I wanted to know what fans could expect.

CJ: "The big focus was to perform odd and never before performed songs live. You know, odd old songs that the fans never thought they'd hear live. For that sake we brought a keyboard player, so we'd be more flexible (normally we use backing tracks for orchestration)."

   therion

With 'Les Fleur De Mal' covered, I was interested to see what holds for Therion in the future and if they are again going to be covering something new.

CJ: "We will be making a rock opera next, that's totally different from how things usually are.

"We never plan what to do further than the coming project, so one can never say for sure. But symphonic elements has been a part of the band's sound to more or less degree since our second album back in 1992, so it would be hard to imagine the band without it."

I questioned him more on the rock ppera project and future touring.

CJ: "The rock opera project will take 5-10 years, so I guess we'll make a regular album again after that and promote it with a tour.

"We'll be touring with the rock opera a few years from now, but that's of course different from what we do normally and will only be the songs of that project. Meanwhile we'll be doing festivals and possibly some acoustic shows if the opportunity comes around."

With time running low, I felt very honoured to be able to gain a sneak peek into Therion and the brains behind it. I thanked Christofer and wished him all the best for the future.

For those of you who haven't checked them out, please do at http://www.megatherion.com/en/. You may be very surprised at what you hear... I know I certainly was.

therion


19.11.12






Pin It
Share |








 

zakk wylde ZAKK WYLDE TO RELEASE 'BOOK OF SHADOWS II' ON APRIL 8 2016
Wylde's first solo release for 20 years will be followed by a wave of tour dates to be announced soon...

status quo STATUS QUO TO RELEASE ANOTHER TRIO OF DELUXE EDITION ALBUMS
These carefully curated special releases are to be issued by Universal Music on Friday 25th March...

hrh doom stoner HRH DOOM vs HRH STONER ANNOUNCE MORE BANDS
Angel Witch, Electric Citizen and Black Spiders head up another batch to be added for this October...

the defiled THE DEFILED ANNOUNCE RESCHEDULED UK HEADLINE TOUR FOR MAY
The Defiled will play as support to In This Moment, also in May...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON RELEASES REISSUES AND NEW ALBUM
The four re-imagined albums include previously unreleased tracks and penned essays from Robinson himself...

crowbar CROWBAR ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
The run of twenty dates includes a UK appearance at Desertfest...

ben poole BEN POOLE CONFIRMS NEW ALBUM 'TIME HAS COME' AND UK TOUR
"I hope it'll please the blues-rock guitar fans, but also have the depth and maturity to appeal to an audience beyond that..."

desertfest DESERTFEST BERLIN 2016'S LINE-UP IS ALMOST COMPLETE
The first running order has been released, along with a limited number of day passes...

anneke van giersbergen DUTCH LEGEND ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN BRINGS HER ACOUSTIC SHOW TO THE UK
Six solo dates in April have been arranged before Anneke returns to the studio...

hard rock hell HARD ROCK HELL X ANNOUNCE FIRST 15 BANDS
Ugly Kid Joe, Ratt, Glenn Hughes and Living Colour head the vanguard for this year's 10th anniversary...

space elevator SPACE ELEVATOR LAUNCH PLEDGE CAMPAIGN FOR SECOND ALBUM
There are a number of exclusive offers for Pledgers, including the chance to perform on the album...

valerian VALERIAN TO RELEASE 'STARDUST REVELATION' ALBUM
With a burgeoning Metal scene in Indonesia, the band have been working hard on their first full length album...

terry horbury vardis A MEMORIAL CONCERT AND BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR TERRY HORBURY OF VARDIS WILL TAKE PLACE ON 6TH FEBRUARY 2016
The unmissable event features a host of very special guests and all proceeds will go to Terry's chosen charity...

status quo STATUS QUO ANNOUNCE THE END OF ELECTRIC SHOWS
"There's more to come from us in the years ahead, but we won't tour the electric set ever again..."

toseland TOSELAND ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'CRADLE THE RAGE' & MARCH TOUR
Support for the ten date UK tour comes from Colour Of Noise...

bonfire BONFIRE CELEBRATE 30TH ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW DOUBLE ALBUM 'PEARLS'
The classics are being re-recorded in Italy, with completely new arrangements...

hostile HOSTILE ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM PRODUCED BY KK DOWNING PLUS EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
'The New World Disorder' is set for release via Gasworks Music and will be available on March 1st 2016...

rambliin man GINGER BAKER'S AIRFORCE 3, SEBASTIAN BACH AND THE CADILLAC THREE AMONG THE LATEST BATCH OF NAMES TO BE ANNOUNCED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR
Purson, Inglorious and The Zombies will also join the Kent festival this coming July...

the enid THE ENID RELEASE DUST ON 1ST APRIL
'Dust' is the final part of the stunning trilogy following 'Journey's End' and 'Invicta' and will be performed around the UK over the coming months...

sanguine EXCLUSIVE: SANGUINE PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SAVE ME' PRIOR TO RELEASE OF SECOND ALBUM 'BLACK SHEEP'
The sci-fi spectacular is directed by Tyson Wade Johnston and its premiere can be seen exclusively on MetalTalk right here...

steelhouse festival STEELHOUSE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES MORE BANDS
Hey! Hello! featuring Ginger Wildheart, Blues Pills and Vega have been added to the line-up of this year's Steelhouse Festival in Hafod-y-Dafal in Wales...

jeff healey PROVOGUE RELEASE LOST JEFF HEALEY ALBUM TO COMMEMORATE HIS 50TH BIRTHDAY
These tracks were painstakingly restored and brought to life bringing into focus Jeff's unique and special gifts as an artist...

heretic order THE HERETIC ORDER UNLEASH VIDEO FOR 'THE DEATH RIDE BLUES'
The Heretic Order have announced a co-headlining UK tour in February with I.C.O.N...

mortiis MORTIIS ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE TOUR
"It's about time we came back to the UK for some shows. See you in May, you bastards..."

zoax ZOAX ANNOUNCE SPECIAL ONE OFF LONDON SHOW
Catch Zoax in Camden on February 23rd where they will premiere some new songs...

antimatter ANTIMATTER ANNOUNCE RARE UK DATES
Antimatter will play two further dates on 'The Judas Tour' in Bristol and Manchester in March...

jimmy bain JIMMY BAIN PASSES AWAY AGED 68
Ex-Dio and Rainbow and current Last In Line bass player Jimmy Bain has sadly passed away aged 68...

rhapsody of fire RHAPSODY OF FIRE WILL COME TO INDONESIA FOR THE FIRST TIME
On the 'In To The Legend Asian Tour 2016', Rhapsody of Fire will stop in Jakarta on March 8th 2016...

steven tyler AEROSMITH'S STEVEN TYLER ANNOUNCES NEW SINGLE 'RED, WHITE & YOU'
Steven Tyler continues his foray into country music and reveals his latest track...

the treatment THE TREATMENT ANNOUNCE APRIL /MAY UK TOUR
The Amorettes will be special guests on all fourteen UK dates...

soto SOTO TO RELEASE SECOND ALBUM ON 1ST APRIL 2016
Soto will debut live during Feb 2016 with a string of East Coast US dates and a European debut in April with a short run through selected cities and countries...

temperance movement HEAR THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT LIVE AND ACOUSTIC AT DEEZER, PARIS
The band dropped into Deezer headquarters during a stop on their current tour promoting new album 'White Bear'...

jezabels CANCER TREATMENT FORCES THE JEZABELS TO CANCEL WORLD TOUR
"The band means so much to me, and cancelling the tour has been a very sad decision. I am hopeful that in the near future we will be back on the road again playing music we love..."

thunder THUNDER ANNOUNCE INTIMATE SHOW AT LONDON'S 100 CLUB
All ticket-sale profits will be going to Childline/NSPCC. Tickets for the special one-off show go on sale on 22nd January...

freddy lim HEAVY METAL STAR ELECTED TO PARLIAMENT IN HISTORIC VICTORY
Freddy Lim, the long-haired, tattooed front man of Taiwanese Black Metal band Chthonic wins a seat in parliament...

hrh doom stoner HRH ANNOUNCE NEW DOOM & STONER SHEFFIELD TRIP
Candlemass, Orange Goblin, Torche and Raging Speedhorn lead the vanguard for HRH's new event...

the mission THE MISSION ANNOUNCE 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
The tour starts in Dublin on October 1st and includes O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in London on October 8th...

cop uk NEW ALBUM FROM C.O.P. UK 'NO PLACE FOR HEAVEN' IS OUT ON 29TH JANUARY
C.O.P. UK will immediately follow the release by hitting the road for a European tour with Helloween...

thin lizzy THIN LIZZY ANNOUNCE 2016 ANNIVERSARY SHOWS: MOTÖRHEAD DRUMMER MIKKEY DEE JOINS BAND
2016 is a year that includes a couple of important anniversaries in the history of Thin Lizzy...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA RELEASES NEW ALBUM 'BLUES OF DESPERATION' IN MARCH 2016
"You'll hear the proverbial trains, mountains, valleys and other blues references about heartbreak and loneliness, but there are also some poignant moments..."

cairo son CAIRO SON 'STORM CLOUDS' ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW CONFIRMED
The launch party will be held at Nambucca on March 18th...

stormbringer STORMBRINGER ADD NEW DATES TO FEBRUARY SHOWS SUPPORTING THEIR NEW ALBUM 'BLOOD AND RUST'
Check out the dates plus the videos for 'Bad Blood' and 'Rust' right here...

sanguine SANGUINE UNLEASH THEIR VEGAS SPECTACULAR WITH NEW VIDEO FOR 'PRETTY GIRL'
"The lyrics reflect my frustration that women are not meant to be both pretty and strong...but it's more of a 'fuck you' than a complaint..."

glenn frey GLENN FREY OF THE EAGLES PASSES AWAY AGED 67
Glenn Frey, the founder member and guitarist of The Eagles has sadly checked out...

dale griffin MOTT THE HOOPLE DRUMMER DALE GRIFFIN PASSES AWAY AGED 67
Dale "Buffin" Griffin was a founder member of Mott The Hoople and prolific session producer...

stiff little fingers STIFF LITTLE FINGERS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES FOR FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016
Support will come from Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts ...

inglorious INGLORIOUS CONFIRMED FOR SWEDEN'S STOCKHOLM ROCKS FESTIVAL 2016
Inglorious and Grand Magus are the first bands to be announced for 2016...

wishing well WISHING WELL FEATURING GRAHAM BONNET RELEASE 'HIPPIE HEART GYPSY SOUL'
"We wanted something extra to boost the album and when we wrote 'Hippie' we instantly realized that Graham would be a perfect vocalist for the song in many ways..."

sabaton SABATON REVEAL THE OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO FOR 'RESIST AND BITE' TAKEN FROM FORTHCOMING LIVE RELEASE
"We recorded two shows in case one is not enough for you..."

babymetal BABYMETAL ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM TITLE
'Metal Resistance' is released worldwide on April 1st before their headline Wembley show the next day...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD: THE TRAIN KEEPS A-ROLLIN'
We hope to see Phil and Mikkey back in full-time action as soon as possible, as well as Fast Eddie...

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW RELEASE THEIR BRILLIANTLY BONKERS LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'END LEVEL BOSS'
The fan favourite will finally appear in the live show for the remaining shows of the 'Boldly Going Anywhere!' tour...

life of agony LIFE OF AGONY SIGN WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH NAPALM RECORDS
'A Place Where There's No More Pain' will be released later in 2016...

metal church METAL CHURCH ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND COVER ARTWORK FOR NEW ALBUM 'XI'
The band's 11th studio release marks the return of legendary vocalist and front man Mike Howe...

twisted sister NEW EUROPEAN RELEASE DATE AND NEW COVER ARTWORK REVEALED FOR THE MOVIE 'WE ARE TWISTED F*CKING SISTER!'
The documentary is a mesmerizing and wickedly funny story of a 10 year odyssey to overnight success...

saxon SAXON TO RELEASE 9 ALBUM VINYL BOX SET
This spectacular package is a must have for Saxon fans and collectors and will be released in March...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016 ANNOUNCE DAY SPLITS
Saturday night headliners, running order and set times for Scotland's premier rock and Metal festival will be announced in February...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY TO PLAY CHARITY GIG AT THE BORDERLINE ON JANUARY 24th
All proceeds of this special appearance will go to The Teenage Cancer Trust...

trivium TRIVIUM ANNOUNCE UK TOUR WITH SOME SURPRISING CHOICES OF VENUE
None of the regular main cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester or Glasgow are included on this jaunt...

yes YES TO TOUR UK AND EUROPE IN APRIL
The set will include 1971's 'Fragile' and 1980's 'Drama' in their entirety...

blind guardian BLIND GUARDIAN ANNOUNCE UK AND IRELAND TOUR IN MAY
Blind Guardian will be playing a spellbinding 150 minute long set every night – these shows are not to be missed...

fish farewell FISH ANNOUNCES APRIL HEADLINE TOUR DUE TO PHENOMENAL DEMAND
Another final chance to see 'Misplaced Childhood' in full following the recent sold out run and including the rescheduled European shows...

morgoth MORGOTH ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR WITH INCANTATION
Be sure not to miss this killer package of total Death Metal sovereignty...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN TO TOUR CHINA FOR FIRST TIME IN THEIR CAREER
Iron Maiden will visit China in April 2016, once their set list has been submitted for approval from the Ministry Of Culture...

3 doors down 3 DOORS DOWN ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'US AND THE NIGHT' OUT MARCH 11th
"It's truly been a labour of love and we can't wait to get these songs out to our fans around the world..."

prong PRONG RELEASE NEW ALBUM ON FEBRUARY 5th
'X – No Absolutes' is packed with the band's trademark driving riffs and pinpoint-precise grooves...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT HEAD OUT ON TOUR WITH DEVILSKIN
Skarlett Riot will be main support to Devilskin for six UK dates in February...

metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery